IOWA CITY – A decisive vote came in today for New Pioneer Food Co-op’s ballot measure.
Members of the Iowa City-based cooperative were asked to vote to authorize the New Pi Board to add a third store, or, in the event that a viable downtown Iowa City site can be found, to relocate the Iowa City store within the immediate downtown area.
Voting ended last week and results announced today, Monday, June 17, 2013, showed an overwhelming majority – 91 percent – supported the measure.
The co-op’s board met with residents of Marion and Cedar Rapids earlier this month to gauge support and answer questions. Comments at the meetings and those on New Pi’s Facebook pages show interest in having a store open in both cities.
About 40 percent of New Pi’s 18,000 active members have Iowa City addresses, with about 2,000 members in the Cedar Rapids/Marion area. Preliminary market studies have shown an opportunity for growth in Linn County.
Here is more from New Pioneer Food Co-op, on today’s vote:
New Pioneer Food Co-op Board Announces ‘Yes’ Member Vote on Proposed 3rd Store
IOWA CITY, 6/17/13 – The New Pioneer Food Co-op Board of Directors is pleased to announce a decisive ‘Yes’ outcome of the member vote to pursue a 3rd store with in our trade area. With 2,753 ballots counted: 2,514 (91%) of the voting members voting ‘Yes,’ and 239 voting ‘No’ to the proposal.
“The results – both in terms of voter turnout and percentage of votes – indicate an engaged membership that is overwhelmingly in favor of this project. Now more than ever, we can move forward with confidence, knowing that we are serving the needs of members and the community,” said Jen Knights, Member Relations Chair of the Board.
The Co-op has not identified a particular site, nor does it have a preferred location at this time. Further market studies of the trade area are underway. A store will be within New Pi’s current trade area – the area from which it currently draws strong customer support and sales, from east Iowa City through Coralville and north to Cedar Rapids and Marion. OR, in the event that a viable downtown Iowa City site can be found, to relocate the Iowa City store within the immediate downtown area.
“We believe it is in New Pi’s collective best interest to continue to grow by opening a third New Pi store,” says New Pi Board President Sarah Walz. “It will allow us to provide more local and organic products to more people, and expand the market for our local producers,” she continues, and “a third store will allow us to better serve our current members and to reach new members.”
The Co-op’s growth is guided by its mission statement: “New Pioneer’s mission is to serve the needs of its members and to stimulate the local agricultural production of natural and organic foods by providing a market for such foods.”
Look for forthcoming information on the coming steps of the process in both New Pi stores, New Pi’s Catalyst newsletter, on New Pi’s website at www.newpi.coop, and on New Pi’s Facebook page at http://s.coop/npfb as information becomes available.
New Pioneer Cooperative Society was founded as a natural foods cooperative grocer in Iowa City in 1971, and opened its Coralville branch in 2001. Today, New Pi is a thriving two-store food co-op with over 25,000 members. The stores provide local, organic, and natural foods to the Iowa City and Coralville area. New Pi is located at 22 S. Van Buren St. in Iowa City and at 1101 2nd St. in Coralville. Please visit www.newpi.coop for more information.